Clear the Air | Tips for Lenders on Responding to Borrower Reviews

As discussed in our previous blog, electronic processes seem to be the path forward for the mortgage and appraisal industries. An online presence is becoming more and more important for connecting with potential borrowers and maintaining relationships with current borrowers, as demonstrated by the results of the 2018 Ellie Mae Borrower Insights Survey.

According to The Title Report, “Ellie Mae found that nearly two-thirds of Americans expect to be able to apply for a mortgage and complete the application online.” Additionally, one-third of homeowners conducted online research before completing a mortgage application, and more than 20 percent found their lender through an online search.

A huge part of building a positive online reputation with borrowers is responding to negative reviews. You might cringe at the thought of engaging an angry reviewer, however a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review found that simply replying to customer review resulted in higher online ratings. Reported “analyses suggested that improved ratings can be directly linked to management responses. And, perhaps surprisingly, we also found that when managers respond to positive reviews, it has the same benefits as when they respond to negative reviews.”

HousingWire echoes this advice, encouraging lenders to “simply acknowledge [disgruntled borrowers’] comments, without agreeing with them.” This does several things. First and foremost, it counters the negative impression of the reviewer rather than “leave it hanging there like a dirty gym towel on a shower rod smelling up the place.” Second, responding to reviews shows other potential borrowers that you are engaged and responsive online—which, as the Ellie Mae survey shows, is important.

Here are two sample review responses:

  • Responding to a positive review:
    “Thanks for the kind words, [insert name of reviewer]. It was a pleasure serving you. Please let us know if we can be of assistance in the future!”
  • Responding to a negative review:
    [Insert name of reviewer], we are very sorry to hear about your negative experience and appreciate your feedback. We try to provide the highest levels of service and transparency to all of our customers. Please contact [insert name of employee] directly at [phone number/email] to discuss your experience in detail.”

Check back soon for more tips and industry updates.

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